Honoring Parent Volunteers

May 23, 2018

Volunteer of the Year Award Winner Helene KocherWhile setting up for the annual Parent Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast, the unseasonable cold and rain felt bleak and prompted a move in venue from the Iann-Stolz Playground to the Phanachet Design Lab. As soon as CAIS parents arrived, however, their reliable warm and cordial spirit felt like we had our own indoor sunshine. Dozens of parents caught up over coffee and a scrumptious spread, trading end-of-year commiseration, memories from the spring camping trip, and plans for summer and beyond.

Head of School Jeff Bissell took the floor to share that this breakfast was a small but sincere way for CAIS to express thanks to parents for everything they do and have done for the school. He noted that parent volunteers are serving as great role models for their kids and how tickled he was by the number of times students will come up to him and excitedly say, “Did you see my mom?” or “Did you know my dad was here?” when a parent had been on campus.

Each year as a way to memorialize our appreciation for parent volunteers, the school bestows the Philip Butler Smith Award, which is named in honor of a past parent who, as Jeff Bissell notes, “could be seen just about everywhere, at every event, doing just about everything he could to help the school.” This year’s award recipient, Helene Kocher, has been involved with practically every volunteer job possible at CAIS, from Annual Fund and PAECE to FSA and Room Parents, and is present at nearly every CAIS event. In his remarks while presenting the award, Jeff Bissell joked, “We ought to just get you an office and a mailbox.” 

Many thanks to all our CAIS parents. Whether you are chaperoning a field trip, bringing treats to a class, participating in Thanksgiving potluck, helping with Mass Greeting, serving as Admission Docents, or any of the many other ways families get involved, all the volunteer support makes a difference!